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Promoting a Healthy Attachment with Your Adopted Child

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Promoting a Healthy Attachment with Your Adopted Child Melissa Nichols, M.A., L.M.F.T. Family Attachment and Counseling Center of Minnesota Other Considerations ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Promoting a Healthy Attachment with Your Adopted Child


1
Promoting a Healthy Attachment with Your Adopted
Child

Melissa Nichols, M.A., L.M.F.T. Family Attachment
and Counseling Center of Minnesota
2
Model and Meaning
Meaning
3
Model and Meaning
Meaning
4
Model and Meaning
Meaning
Development
5
Two Important Factors for Attachment Repair
  • Attunement
  • Regulation

6
Attunement and Regulation
Attunement The ability of a parent to accurately
read the emotional state and motivations of his
or her child and appropriately meet the child's
needs. Regulation A persons ability to
calm--to regulate body, emotions, and states of
mind. Parents help children to regulate.
7
Healthy Effects
  • Regulate emotional state
  • Helps form healthy concept of self and others
  • Supports language development
  • Assists a child in learning about a
    relationship-cooperative partnership
  • Supports development of a coherent narrative

8
Unhealthy Effects
  • Dysregulated emotional state
  • Negative concept of others and self
  • Impaired language development
  • Insecure relationship with caregiver
  • Incoherent narrative

9
Factors which can affect attunement
  • Parents' model of attachment
  • Mental state of a parent
  • Amount of time spent with a child
  • How supported a parent feels
  • The childs perspective

10
Meaning of Childs Behavior
  • Early Life Experience
  • Development--cognitive, emotional, physical
  • Temperament
  • Learning Style

11
How to Attune
  • Question Whats underneath the behavior?
  • ACT
  • Acknowledge the childs feelings
  • Calm him or her
  • Try a solution or give a coping strategy

12
Tools to Attune and Regulate
  • Family Attachment Narrative Therapy
  • Attachment Play and Reflective Play
  • Parenting Techniques to Connect and Regulate
  • Social Skills Training
  • Therapy Options

13
Why Stories Work
  • Stories are culturally universal
  • Early stories create first mental model
  • Channel different perspective of life events
  • Model and facilitate integration of thought and
    feeling
  • Change the story, change self understanding

14
Constructing Stories
  • Setting
  • Props
  • Perspective
  • Hero
  • Message

15
Narrative Types
  • Claiming
  • Developmental
  • Trauma
  • Successful Child

16
Claiming Narratives
  • Strengthens emotional bond
  • Facilitates trust
  • Establishes birth order
  • Extended family
  • Passes on traditions, history, rituals

17
Narrative Theme
  • From the first, you were a child that deserved to
    be loved and cared for by parents you could trust.

18
Developmental Narratives
  • Facilitates cognitive development
  • Enhances emotional regulation
  • Builds relationships
  • Remedial skill building

19
Trauma Narratives
  • Heals pain of trauma
  • Creates empathy
  • Fosters understanding

20
Narrative Themes
  • Even though you experienced abuse, abandonment,
    neglect, you deserved to be loved and cared for
    by responsible parents.

21
Successful Child Narratives
  • Teaches values
  • Reinforces cause and effect thinking
  • Presents alternative behaviors
  • Explains basics of How to Do life

22
Narrative Themes
  • Your problem behavior does not define your value
    and we will be there to love and support you as
    you make changes.

23
The Importance of Play
  • It is the vehicle in which a child communicates
    his feelings, thoughts and beliefs
  • Assists the child in mentalizing (the ability to
    regulate, think, and envision) which is the
    primary function in the development of self or
    personality
  • Serves the function of regulation and mastery

24
Play with Your Child
  • Strengthen attachment
  • Give a glimpse into your childs inner life

25
Attachment Play
  • Connection (Being present with your child)
  • Structure and boundary setting (Being explicit
    for mastery)
  • Challenge (a developmentally appropriate task in
    which your child is challenged can master)
  • Nurture (Making the child feel accepted, valued
    and worthwhile in the interaction)

26
Reflective Play
  • Empathetic Listening (use of reflection in
    interaction
  • Boundary Setting (creating a safe environment via
    rules perimeters of play)
  • Structure (creating developmentally appropriate
    structure that promotes mastery)
  • Child-centered (play is led by child)

27
Modeling Play
  • Play that teaches appropriate interaction
  • Parent led (child may choose theme)
  • Boundary Setting Structure (same as reflective
    play)
  • Noticing Use of observations with positive
    affect to enforce positive interaction
  • Narration Description of activity--connection of
    thoughts, feelings, and behavior

28
Mind Body Connection Sensory Integration
  • Sensory Integration involves the ability to
    accurately process and organize incoming sensory
    data in order to make an appropriate response.

29
Sensory Integration Dysfunction
  • When the process of sensory integration is
    disordered, a number of problems in learning,
    development and behavior become evident. The
    following list describes some ways disordered
    sensory data can affect a child
  • Visual tracking problems (reading problems poor
    handwriting)
  • Spatial boundaries (poor space bubbles)
  • Sensory overload (temper tantrums/zone out)
  • Sensory Seeking (inappropriately touching,
    chewing, etc.)

30
Sensory Integration Dysfunction (cont.)
  • Poor motor planning (clumsy)
  • Difficulties in Regulation
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste, and/or
    certain types of touch (hair brushing, teeth
    brushing, clothing difficulties, food textures,
    etc.)
  • Insensitivity to certain types of touch (high
    pain tolerance)
  • Difficulty with voice tone, poor articulation

31
How Parents Can Help Calm a Child
  • Oral Input
  • -To Calm sucking motion--hard candies, straw,
    water bottle, pacifier, or blowing
    motion--bubbles, straw into goop, deep breathing,
    etc.
  • -To Organize chewy motion--gum, raisins, rubber
    necklace
  • -To Be Alert crunchy motion or sour/spicy
    foods--sourballs, warheads
  • Movement (Heavy Work)
  • Running
  • Carry heavy items (bags filled with books)
  • Pushing and pulling activities (chairs, desks)
  • Clean boards, wipe down desks, etc.
  • Doing push-ups, handstands up against a wall
  • Shoveling snow, mopping, scrubbing the floor,
    washing windows, etc.

32
How Parents Can Help Calm a Child
  • Movement (Calming)
  • Moving back and forward motion can be
    calming-e.g., handing out papers, pacing,
    swinging, etc.
  • Rolling, jumping (on a trampoline), twirling,
    spinning, etc.
  • Touch
  • massage
  • weighted blankets vests
  • If the child is asked to attentively listen to
    instructions, stories, etc., provide him with
    "fidget" items to help his system organize better
    for improved attention--i.e., small koosh ball,
    coins, balloons filled with flour, stress balls,
    etc.
  • Play dough, goop
  • Doodling during auditory directions

33
How Parents Can Help Calm a Child
  • Environmental Suggestions
  • Forewarn changes in a schedule
  • Keep a white board of the day's schedule
  • Reduce sensory stimulation
  • Remove posters, calendars, other visual
    distractions
  • Clear workspace of all materials except those
    needed
  • Help keep the desk organized and free from
    clutter
  • Change lighting (dim, natural light or blue
    lights)
  • Increase structure in times that are difficult
  • Decrease noise levels
  • Adapted from "How Does Your Engine Run?" Program
    Kim Keenan, M.S., OTR

34
Other Considerations
  • Nutrition
  • Fish oil (Omega 3), Diet
  • Exercise (30 min. 3x each week)
  • Increase DNA cell repair
  • Increased brain blood flow and more efficient
    oxygen and glucose metabolism
  • Brain is protected against molecules that
    overexcite it
  • Improved insulin ability to regulate glucose
    (especially in the hippocampus) (Daniel
    Amens work www.amen.org)
  • Therapy
  • EMDR, CBT, Social Skills Training, Biofeedback,
    Medication

35
Working with Kids who have Attachment Issues
  • Boundaries for well-meaning adults who are not
    parents or family
  • Transitions, New things, Anxiety
  • Discipline What Works?

36
Choosing a Technique or Tool
  • Does it create a more connected relationship
    between you and your child?
  • Does it assist in regulating your childs
    emotions?
  • Does it give your child a sense of
    accomplishment/mastery?

37
Tailoring a Technique
  • Gauge your expectations according to your childs
    emotional age and abilities, not his
    chronological age.
  • Be consistent! Follow through with what you say.
  • Give it time. Do not toss out a technique or
    tool before it has a chance to work.
  • Remember development--what does not work now, may
    work later.

38
Keys to Success
  • Ask yourself Whats under the bad behavior of my
    child?
  • Calm your child before doing anything else.
  • Be explicit about your good intentions!
  • Structure to reduce anxiety

39
Parental Keys for Success
  • BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
  • Join a support group
  • Journal progress your child makes
  • Allow yourself time away
  • Be thankful for the good things in your life
    review them morning and night
  • Exercise and eat healthy food
  • Laugh!

40
Specific Discipline Methods
  • Transforming the Difficult Child The Nurtured
    Heart Approach by Glassar Easley
  • Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson
  • Parenting with Love and Logic by Cline and Faye
  • 123 Magic

41
  • Family Attachment Center
  • 18322C Minnetonka Blvd
  • Deephaven, MN 55391
  • 952-475-2818
  • www.familyattachment.com
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